Jenny Offill Master Class Recording

Best-selling American novelist Jenny Offill gave a special master class for us on 17 July 2022, moderated by IWC teacher Karen Kao. The class focussed on her third novel Weather, her writing processes and influences.

Jenny is perhaps best known for her novel, Dept. of Speculation (named one of the 10 Best Books of 2014 by the New York Times Book Review) and Weather (shortlisted for the 2020 Women’s Prize for Fiction). She’s also the author of a number of children’s books.

Jenny and Karen discuss:

  • the style of fragmentary writing
  • the use of outside voices
  • how curiosity feeds her writing
  • how humor and sadness work together
  • what novelists can learn from poetry, writing for children, and much more

The class was held in the garden of  one of our teaching locations in Amsterdam so there is some occasional background noise.



Jenny Offill is the author of three critically acclaimed novels and four children’s books. Her shorter work has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review and Slate among other notable publications. She’s the recipient of a number of prestigious fellowships, including a Stegner Fellowship at Stanford University and a Guggenheim Fellowship. She’s taught at MFA programs at Columbia University, Brooklyn College, Syracuse University, and others.

Karen Kao is a teacher with the International Writers’ Collective and is the winner of the 2022 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest and a nominee for the Pushcart Prize, VERA, and Best of the Net. Her debut novel, The Dancing Girl and the Turtle (Linen Press 2017) is the first of a quartet of historical novels set in Shanghai. Karen’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in the Kenyon Review, Hippocampus Magazine, Tahoma Literary Review, The Common, and The Shanghai Literary Review, among others.

Copyright © 2022 Jenny Offill & International Writers’ Collective

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International Writers' Collective
International Writers' Collective
Jenny Offill Master Class Recording
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8 September 2022

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